- > When will Apple's streaming service be available?
- > What does Apple TV+ streaming cost?
- > How to get Apple TV+
- > Where can you watch Apple TV+
- > What will Apple's streaming service offer?
- > What Apple TV Channels are there?
- > Which services will be available as Channels inside Apple's TV app?
- > Will iTunes content be part of the subscription?
- > Apple's TV and film team
Apple has launched its own streaming TV service, starting Friday 1 November, bringing exclusive shows including See, The Morning Show, Dickinson, and more to the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, and some non-Apple devices. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial to watch the first episode of each show before the trial converts to a full subscription (£4.99/$4.99 a month). Read on to find out all about the new Apple TV+ shows, what time they will start streaming, and everything else you need to know.
The Apple TV+ service has been a long time in the making. When Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was being interviewed for his biography that was published shortly after his death in 2011 he revealed that with regard to television he believed he had: "Finally cracked it".
Now we can see for ourselves what Jobs had in mind. The Apple TV+ streaming service will be full of content from a star-studdied line up that Apple has been spending billions on.
When will Apple's streaming service be available?
Apple TV+ launched on Friday 1 November 2019 and is available in over 100 countries.
What does Apple TV+ streaming cost?
Like Apple Arcade, the TV+ streaming service costs £4.99/$4.99 per month. That's a great price when compared to some other services, such as Disney+ which will cost $6.99 per month in the US (UK price and launch date TBC), although Netflix and Amazon do also include access to a huge library of older content.
Apple's deal it's even better if you consider that when you buy an Apple product like an iPhone or iPad, you'll get a year of the TV+ service thrown in for free.
There is also a free seven day trial for the service which will auto-renew into a monthly subscription. You could attempt to watch all the Apple content in week before cancelling, but we think you would struggle, and with Apple releasing new content in a staggered fashion we can only guess at the best time to start your trial. If you aren't keen on subscribing read: How to get Apple TV+ for free.
As for how much it will be worth to Apple, analysts at Morgan Stanley have great expectations. They believe that the TV+ service will be worth $9 billion to Apple by 2025. By that point Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty thinks Apple will have 136M paid subscribers to the service.
How to get Apple TV+
Subscribers to Apple TV+ can watch this new content via Apple's TV app available on iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TV, Roku devices and Amazon Fire TV. The content is also be available via AirPlay 2 on LG, Sony and VIZIO TVs at some point in the future. We have more details about TVs and set-top boxes that work with the new Apple TV+ content here.
Customers can also sign up and watch Apple TV+ originals on the web at tv.apple.com.
The Apple TV app comes pre-installed on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and iPod touch and is available on Macs running macOS Catalina. The TV app also pulls in all the content you own, and displays anything you have a subscription to, and, of course, it also offers access to new shows being produced by Apple itself.
Where can you watch Apple TV+
As mentioned, the streaming service is available in over 100 countries from 1 November 2019, although not all the new content will be available immediately. Subscribers are able to watch Apple TV+ originals both online and offline, ad-free and on demand. They are also able to download shows to watch offline, according to Apple.
You can watch everything available in the TV app on iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TV and also TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, Vizio, and on Roku and Amazon FireTV. We have a complete guide to what you can watch Apple TV on here, but in summary the Apple TV app is available on:
- Some new Samsung smart TVs
- Amazon Fire TV: on Fire TV Stick (2nd Gen) and Fire TV Stick 4K
- Roku streaming devices, via Roku’s Channel Store
- LG, Sony and VIZIO platforms "in the future," according to Apple
The company is said to have budgeted at least $1bn in 2018 and another $2bn in 2019 for buying and producing its own video content. As per a Finacial Times report in August 2019, the company has now decided to spend more than $6 billion on TV shows for its new service.
So, what's on offer? The company showcased a number of different artists describing their new shows that will be made available via the service during its March 2019 event.
Apple bringing programmes from the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day, Kristen Bell and Josh Gad, Ophra and more.
Here's Apple's Apple TV+ preview, showcasing a number of the new shows.
Here are a few of the shows you can expect to see. We have a complete guide to the shows Apple is making, and what you can watch on Apple TV right now here.
- Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories
- See, starring Jason Momoa
- Sesame Street - coding workshop
- Little Voices, produced by J.J. Abrams and Sara Bareilles.
- Little America, co-written by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon
- The Morning Show, starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon
- Oprah, including a documentary about mental health being made by Prince Harry (Duke of Sussex)
- Bastards, starring Richard Gere
- Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits
- Video game studio comedy from Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day
- Cartoon Saloon film
- Ed Sheeran documentary Songwriter
- Shantaram, based on Gregory David Roberts' novel
- Dickinson, about the poet Emily Dickinson
- M. Night Shyamalan show
- Isaac Asimov's Foundation
- Central Park, staring Kristen Bell and Josh Gad
- Swagger, about basketball player Kevin Durant
- Untitled drama from La La Land writer
- You Think It, I'll Say It - Reese Witherspoon-produced show
- Space drama from Star Trek veteran Ronald D. Moore.
- Are You Sleeping, crime drama
- For All Mankind, Sci-fi drama
Apple has created a website to showcase all the new shows. The site is really targetted at journalists, but is a useful overview for anyone thinking of subscribing. You'll find details of 15 of the new shows on the site. View the site here: Apple TV+ preview it includes trailers for Hala, Little America, Truth Be Told, Little Voice and more. You can also see trailers for some of the new shows here.
Here's Apple's trailer for See, the first episode of which started streaming on 1 November.
You can watch a new trailer for 'The Morning Show' below. The first episode of 'The Morning Show' also startred streaming on 1 November.
Apple has also published a trailer for 'For All Mankind' on YouTube to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that put man on the moon.
What Apple TV Channels are there?
Apple's media player app has always made it possible to search for TV shows and films across various services in one place, which is great as you can avoid paying to watch something that is available for free elsewhere. However, having decided what you wanted to watch, you have always been pushed out to the third-party app to watch the content. Apple's vision for the future of the TV app should mean you can watch some third-party content within the TV app via a 'Channel' to which you can subscribe within the app.
There will be more than 150 streaming apps, according to Apple.
Because you watch all the content in the app you’ll be able to get personalised recommendations from Apple’s own team of editors. The app should show content that is more in line with what you like to watch, making it easier to find shows you like.
Netflix has already confirmed that it won't be included as an Apple TV Channel, but that doesn't seem to mean that it will be leaving the TV app completely - it continues to be possible to search for Netflix content via the app (at least it does in the UK). Search for Paw Patrol, for example, and you'll see Netflix, along with My 5, Prime and other options under How To Watch.
Which services will be available as Channels inside Apple's TV app?
In the UK, as yet, no well known brands or services have signed up to be Apple TV Channels (the British Film Institute has, with the BFIPlayer, but other than that the brands on offer aren't well known here).
In the US, there are more Channels available to subscribe to, these do, or will, apparently include Britbox, CBS All Access, Comedy Central, HBO and more. it seems that to use the service customers need to cancel their subscription and subscribe again via the app (which apart from being annoying for consumers also means, we presume, that the company providing the content loses some of the control over the subscription holder).
Apple says that customers will be able to subscribe to content from satellite and cable providers via a simple process that takes "just a couple of steps".
Anything you rent or buy from Apple's library (previously known as the iTunes Store, it's not clear if it's really got a name now) is also available to watch through the TV app.
Will iTunes content be part of the subscription?
Long before Netflix and Amazon Prime, Apple was selling TV shows and films on the iTunes Store. You might have forgotten about iTunes, but, for now, you can still find tons of movies, TV shows and more via the TV app on iPhones, iPads and the Apple TV, and the Mac (if you are running macOS Catalina - otherwise it's still available within iTunes).
The problem with this service is that you have to pay to either own or rent shows. If you already pay monthly for Netflix and Prime you might not be so keen on actually buying or renting a show, even if you could see it on iTunes long before it comes to Netflix or Amazon.
However, this has always been Apple's model for the iTunes Store, and it doesn't look like it is changing. These movies and TV shows will not be part of the TV+ subscription package.
Apple's Eddy Cue has been building a video team for some time. The video team is mostly based in Los Angeles and is lead by two ex-Sony Pictures execs Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who have shows such as Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul under their belt, have worked at Sony for 15 years (Amburg) and 20 years (Erlicht).
Erlicht and Amburg appeared on stage at the Apple Showtime event to talk through the new service.
When he was given the job in June 2017, Erlicht said: "It will be an honor to be part of the Apple team. We want to bring to video what Apple has been so successful with in their other services and consumer products - unparalleled quality," according to a report on Deadline Hollywood.
In September 2017 Matt Cherniss, president of US TV broadcasting company WGN, joined the team. He was behind shows such as Manhattan and Salem and has previously worked for Sony, Warner Bros. Pictures and Fox.
And in late October 2017 Apple added the former controller of BBC One and chief creative officer of Channel 4, Jay Hunt, to its team of creatives working on video content. Hunt was behind shows like Sherlock, Luther, and then helped Channel 4 buy The Great British Bake Off. In her new role at Apple she will be creative director Europe, worldwide video. It is thought that she will be commissioning programming on behalf of Apple for Europe and the UK market.
In February 2018 Apple hired Gaumont Television executive Carol Trussell as Head of Production at its Worldwide Video Programming division. When at Gaumont, Trussell was responsible for Narcos and Hannibal amongst other shows. She was previously a producer for HBO's True Blood
Apple also hired The Paramount Network's Dana Tuinier as creative executive for comedy. Before Paramount, Tuinier worked at Fox on shows including New Girl, Almost Human and Glee.
A July 2018 TBI Vision reported that Apple had hired head of BBC Films Joe Oppenheimer to join the international team. Oppenheimer will be tasked with sourcing programming internationally, according to TBI Vision. His film credits include I, Daniel Blake and Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.
Then in December 2018 it emerged that Apple has signed a deal with Justin Lin's entertainment company, Perfect Storm. Lin directed some of the Fast and Furious movies, as well as some episodes of Community and True Detective. Lin worked with Sony Pictures TV for six years on Sony TV shows including Scorpion, S.W.A.T and Magnum PI.
Apple is also forming a team of people with awards strategy experience. In January 2019, the company hired someone who'd been employed in Disney's television group. The company is also said to be seeking a high-level candidate to oversee the process, according to Bloomberg sources.
The Bloomberg report suggest that Apple is aiming to get award nominations for its original content. That report suggests that Apple could be in the running for Emmy awards by 2020.
In order to be nominated for an award Apple might have to release movies in the cinema. The company is known to have already purchased one movie at the Sundance Film Festival, Hala from Cartoon Saloon.
Apple’s also made Disney’s Chiara Cipriani director of video services, as of May 2019.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Cipriani had been at Disney for ten years. She was vice president at Disney+ International and VP of Disney's digital media distribution team for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She also served as general manager of Disney’s digital direct to consumer service and was also VP of content and commercial there. Previously she worked at Sky, and was co-founder of The Poker Channel Europe. Cipriani will be based in Apple’s London office.